14 ◾ Removing the Barriers to Efﬁcient Manufacturing
Order and Cleanliness
Order and cleanliness are the necessary starting point for everything that fol-
lows, so it is imperative to set the tone for how you plan to conduct business.
Understand that this new way of operating will require dedication and commit-
ment by you. Order and cleanliness require daily attention if you are to main-
tain your standards, which must be done by patient coaching—not complaining.
If your organization did not place much emphasis on housekeeping in
the past, then the new standards must be presented at crew meetings so that
everyone clearly understands the new expectations. Each person should be
given a printed handout for reference. Because many housekeeping problems
are beyond the capability of the workers to correct, it is important to encour-
age team members to point out housekeeping items that need management’s
involvement. Of course, once they do that, management must deliver and not
just pay lip service or this becomes another meaningless exercise.
After the new housekeeping standards have been communicated, man-
agers must walk their departments with area supervisors. Action lists must
be generated and funds and resources assigned to upgrade the facilities and
equipment. This is not a one-shot activity. The list must be managed on
an ongoing basis to ensure improvement. Anything less and this becomes
another program of the month.
Progress must be communicated in monthly reports to the organiza-
tion and top management. You will also need to post progress reports on
employee bulletin boards; it forces you either to make progress or to look
stupid. Also, once a month, top management must make announced, walk-
ing inspections of selected areas to show employees that they are involved
and supportive. Praise for progress is essential.
In general, anything ugly should be addressed. Here is a list of obvious
things to get you started.
◾ Floors: These should be clean and free of dust and debris.
◾ Walls: Walls should be clean and painted a light color, preferably white.
◾ Lighting: Increased lighting has been shown in past studies to improve
morale and productivity, and it allows people to see defects more easily.
Also, keeping your building relamped sends a clear message that you